Saturday, November 01, 2003

Writer's Blogck?

5 weeks since last post. Guess I really don't have much to say. Another version in the can, defect counts very low, spending a week in Manzillo, Mexico in a couple of weeks -- life is good I guess.

I read the 4th of my boss's books, "Elegant Universe", by Brian Greene. Superstring theory. So, to combine the standard model of elementary particles, quantum, and general relativity, you need 11 dimensions? I guess you can make it work. 4 dimensions for spacetime, 7 for the rest. Plus, your smallest components are strings that can't get smaller than the Planck length. So, not having to deal with anything smaller than the Planck length gets rid of the infinities you normally get in renormalizing the quantum wave functions -- duh. Seems like you should be able to get the very hairy math to work, but, is that really how it works? I guess if you are a positivist like Hawking, you don't care -- if the math works, use it. But, maybe the three strong forces (em, strong nuclear, weak) are fundamentally different from gravity -- they weren't meant to be unified.

Read some sci-fi from the library -- standard escapist fare: "Crescent City Rhapsody", by Kathleen Ann Goonan, "Crossfire" by Nancy Kress. Both OK, the Kress a little disappointing, she's normally better than that. My to-read sci-fi stack is great right now: short story collections by Simmons and Jablokov, a Kim Stanley Robinson, Charles Stross's debut hardback novel "Singularity Sky" (I have really been looking forward to that, his short stories in Year's Best have been fantastic), a new John Barnes, and "Quicksilver" by Neal Stephenson. Life is good.

I would suspect part of the reason I have been blogging less is that I have been drinking a lot more. I seem to have gone from weekend drinking to 5 days a week drinking. With an alcoholic father and brother, that's not good. The death of my wife's brother (51 yrs old, motorcycle accident, no helmet, what an incredibly stupid fucking waste) did not help. I'm not really that worried. I'll try to have two good sober weeks before Mexico.